Six Nations 2015: England boss open to changes for Scotland

Stuart Lancaster will watch this weekend's Aviva Premiership matches closely before deciding his squad for Calcutta Cup match

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff

Stuart Lancaster insists he is not afraid to change things up when England host Scotland at Twickenham later this month.

The England head coach is considering bringing back some experienced players, who have played little or no part in this year’s RBS 6 Nations so far.

When talking about momentum and motivation and all that sort of stuff, sometimes you can freshen the side up a little bit, particularly when you know you have trusted players available.

Stuart Lancaster

England will go into the Calcutta Cup clash against Scotland as overwhelming favourites after Vern Cotter’s Scotland fell to a third defeat in this year’s championship against Italy last week.

But after seeing their own title hopes take a huge hit from their 19-9 defeat to Ireland in Dublin, the Red Rose boss is open to freshening up his squad for the fourth match of five after seeing how a number of players perform for their Aviva Premiership clubs over the weekend.

“There are definitely decisions to be made and I’m open-minded about making some changes,” Lancaster said.

“We have players of the calibre of Courtney Lawes, Geoff Parling, Tom Wood and Brad Barritt back in the equation and Mike Brown is fit.

“Selection will be based on a variety of things, one of which is their individual performances this weekend to demonstrate they are back up to the form and quality of performances we know they can deliver.

“There are big payers in there who have delivered for us in big games in the past.

“When talking about momentum and motivation and all that sort of stuff, sometimes you can freshen the side up a little bit, particularly when you know you have trusted players available.

“They will come into consideration, but a lot will depend on this weekend without doubt.”

Saracens full-back Alex Goode started for England against Ireland, but his return to international could be short-lived if Mike Brown impresses when he returns to training later this week.

Our backline against Ireland was young and in this game, on the day, we suffered a bit, definitely.

Stuart Lancaster

Lancaster also admits England’s inexperience in key areas proved costly against the defending champions at the Aviva Stadium with Ireland boasting a number of British and Irish Lions.

That could bring about a recall for Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes and Leicester’s Geoff Parling.

“Joe Schmidt talked after the game about experience, not just at half back but across the board,” Lancaster added.

“Paul O’Connell is a world-class line-out operator and we’ve got two guys there in Dave Attwood and George Kruis who are learning their trade as second rowers.

“And then there is Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray, both of whom are British and Irish Lions. That probably had a part to play in the game.

“We’ve huge amounts of experience in our backline in Owen [Farrell], Manu [Tuilagi], Brad and Mike, who weren’t involved.

“Our backline against Ireland was young and in this game, on the day, we suffered a bit, definitely.

“We also showed tremendous character, resilience, confidence to come back but, without doubt, lessons to be learned from weekend. So we have got to improve.”

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